George A. Gordon

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George A. Gordon's 1920 diplomatic passport photo.

George A. Gordon (November 19, 1885 – May 11, 1959) was an American attorney and diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to Haiti and as United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.

Life and career[edit]

George Anderson Gordon was born in Huntsville, Alabama on November 19, 1885. He was the son of Percy Gordon, son of George Anderson Gordon, and Nancy Reed French.[1][2]

He graduated from Harvard University in 1906 and taught at St. Paul's School until 1909. In 1912 he received his law degree from Columbia University School of Law, and he became an attorney in New York City.[3][4]

In 1916 Gordon joined the United States Army and served in the Pancho Villa Expedition. During World War I he was assigned as a Captain in France, and after the war he served on the staff that supported the U.S. commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Versailles.[5]

Gordon became a career foreign service employee in 1920, and served at embassies in Paris, Budapest, Berlin, and Rio de Janeiro. In 1930 he married Alice Vandergrift Garrett.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

In 1935 he was appointed as Ambassador to Haiti, where he served until 1937.[14]

In 1937 he became Ambassador to the Netherlands, serving until the Nazi invasion in 1940, after which he closed down the embassy and departed.[15][16][17][18]

Upon returning to the United States Gordon spent the rest of World War II working on foreign policy issues at the State Department, including reorganization and formal re-recognition of Czechoslovakia following its occupation by the Nazis. He retired in 1945.[19]

Gordon died in New York City on May 11, 1959.[20]


  1. ^ Who's who in Pennsylvania: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries. 1909. p. 420.
  2. ^ Harvard College (1780- ). Class of 1906 (1906). Harvard College Class of 1906 Secretary's Third Report. Crimson Printing Company. p. 158.
  3. ^ Harvard University, Report of the lass of 1906, 1916, page 158
  4. ^ Bernard V. Burke, Ambassador Frederic Sackett and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic, 1930-1933, 2003, page 71
  5. ^ Boston Globe, George A. Gordon to Marry Mrs. Garrett, July 5, 1930
  6. ^ Harvard Alumni Association, Harvard Alumni Bulletin, Volume 61, 1959, page 696
  7. ^ New York Times, Many Are Promoted in Foreign Service, September 6, 1925
  8. ^ New York Times, New Yorkers Rise in Foreign Service: George A. Gordon Becomes Counselor for the Embassy at Paris, January 19, 1930
  9. ^ New York Times, Notes of Social Activities in Metropolitan District and Elsewhere, December 23, 1933
  10. ^ Associated Press, Capitol Social Leader to Wed, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 5, 1930
  11. ^ Abraham Ascher, Was Hitler a Riddle?: Western Democracies and National Socialism, 2012, page 147
  12. ^ Robert M. Levine, Father of the Poor?: Vargas and his Era, 1998, page 42
  13. ^ Robert Dallek, Democrat and Diplomat: The Life of William E. Dodd, 1968, page 197
  14. ^ New York Times, New Envoy to Haiti Arrives, August 3, 1935
  15. ^ New York Times, G.A. Gordon Named Envoy to Holland, July 11, 1937
  16. ^ United Press International, New Netherlands Minister Named, Berkeley Daily Gazette, July 10, 1937
  17. ^ J. Reilly O'Sullivan, Associated Press, Americans Are Unable to Get Out of Holland, Lewiston Daily Sun, May 27, 1940
  18. ^ Baltimore Sun, Gordon, Former Envoy To Holland, Returning, July 18, 1940
  19. ^ Chicago Tribune, U.S. Continues Recognition of Czechs' State, February 8, 1941
  20. ^ Associated Press, Death Notice, G. A. Anderson, Newport Daily News, May 12, 1959

External Resources[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Norman Armour
United States Ambassador to Haiti
Succeeded by
Ferdinand L. Mayer
Preceded by
Grenville T. Emmet
United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.